Digital & Multimedia Evidence

The JCSOCL Digital & Multimedia section provides Digital Multimedia Evidence (DME) examination services to assist local, state, and federal agencies to investigate crimes and incidents. The purpose of a DME examination is to analyze digital data for the purpose of identification, collection, and preservation of digital evidence. It is a highly technical, computer-related field involved with the collection and examination of digital evidence from computers, cell phones, tablets, gaming systems, CD/DVDs, USB drives, and other digital data storage devices.

The section also processes digital and analog video evidence. Video analysis is the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation of video in legal matters. With the proliferation of video surveillance cameras in our society, it is rapidly becoming apparent the tools once thought of as crime “deterrents” are now becoming powerful resources in solving and prosecuting crimes. Video surveillance systems capture data differently than a home VCR or Digital Video Recorder. These commercial systems record video and audio data in a way that may not playback correctly on a standard VCR or DVD player. Many of these systems will record multiple camera views in rapid succession. Some images can be highly compressed, in a proprietary format, or the overall quality of the images may be poor. Due to the specialized nature of this type of evidence, on-site acquisition is increasingly becoming an important part of a video examiner’s duties.

The video section can process images from analog (VHS, SVHS, Beta, 8 mm, etc.) and digital (cell phones, Digital Video Recorder, CD, DVD…etc.) sources. Examiners can also repair videotapes that have been damaged by fire, emersion, cutting or other physical damage. Advanced computer technologies are utilized to process these images to assist the law enforcement community. The section also offers advanced services such as comparative analysis.

The section was developed with a Byrne Grant awarded in 2003 to purchase equipment and provide initial training in Video Analysis. In 2004, the video section successfully achieved ASCLD/LAB accreditation in digital evidence (video); at the time, it was the second section in the nation to receive accreditation status.

In April 2013, the section added the capability to process digital evidence from computers, cell phones, tablets, and other portable media devices. In April 2014, the DME section successfully achieved ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation for digital forensics to include processing of computers, cell phones, portable media devices, and video.